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Left parties left out of opposition alliance in Bihar; CPI chief says decision 'unfortunate'

PTI     March 22, 2019

New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) With Left parties being left out of the RJD-led opposition alliance in Bihar, CPI general secretary Sudhakar Reddy said their understanding was with the jailed RJD supremo Lalu Prasad who had assured them a place in the coalition, but wondered if the same was conveyed to his son Tejashwi Yadav, who is holding the party's reins. Reddy told PTI that the failure of the 'Mahagathbandhan' (grand alliance) to accommodate the Left parties was "unfortunate" and didn't bode well for the opposition as a whole in the bigger scheme of creating an anti-BJP front. The party's state leadership is scheduled to meet on March 24 to decide on its future course of action, Reddy said. "We had an understanding with Lalu Prasad Yadav, but he is in jail. So, I don't know how things have been conveyed to his son. He had agreed for six seats including Begusarai and Madhubani," said Reddy, adding that the RJD was "underestimating the strength" of the Left parties in Bihar. The 'Mahagathbandhan' Friday announced that the RJD would contest half of the 40 seats in the state while nine will be fought by the Congress. Former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Mukesh Sahni's Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP) will field their candidates on five and three seats respectively. Former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) has been given three seats. With the Bihar opposition equation virtually shutting its doors on the Left, the future of student union leader, Kanhaiya Kumar, who was being pushed for the Begusarai seat by the CPI, is now back on the drawing board. "This means we will have to go independently. We will contest in Bihar undoubtedly. A decision will be taken soon," he said. Former JD(U) president and NDA convener Sharad Yadav will be contesting on an RJD symbol and merge his party Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) with it after the Lok Sabha polls, RJD national spokesman Manoj Jha and RJD state president Ram Chandra Purve told reporters in Patna. PTI ASG SMN

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